Clare's eyes squinted through the darkness to the end of the hallway. Stepping forward warily, she could almost hear the soft tapping of her ballet flats against the cold, cement floor. The depressing, gray shadows seemed to be twisting into indistinguishable shapes. It felt like she'd dug out her old, broken glasses and put them back on. She tried to take in a breath but the oxygen just seemed to be choking her. The air was too thin to breathe, too thick to move. She looked to her side. The walls were closing in on her, claiming her as their guilty prisoner forever. She turned straight ahead. This time, the image was clear. Someone was coming at her. She blinked hard. It wasn't going away. She clenched her trembling fists together, but she was too weak to fight. They were racing towards her. Faster. Closer. They were gonna break through. They-

"ELI, HELP!" She screamed, her knees giving way and dropping to the ground.

Eli appeared from a nearby room and immediately stuck to her side. "Clare." He carefully helped her up and steadied her by the shoulders. Her eyes looked swollen and red, with no control over the tears they released. She was gasping desperately for air, begging him to save her. He tried to piece together the words through her relentless sobs, but none of it made any sense. When he looked over to see nothing but an empty hallway, a part of him broke inside.

"It's okay... everything's okay," he promised, lightly brushing aside the strands of hair from her face. His soft touch tickled against her skin, almost making it okay for her to relax. "I'm right here."

"I - I saw -" her tone started out strong as she gripped tightly onto his shirt, finally looking back up at him. "I thought..." Her gaze drifted downward as she watched her innocent fingers freely running down the front of his chest. "We're alone, aren't we?" He nodded slowly, and she, again, avoided his eyes. This time, out of embarrassment.

"Clare, if you let your mind play tricks on you like that, you're gonna kill yourself long before anyone else can," Eli warned her.

Her jittery hands clenched onto the fabric on his shoulders. "Yeah, I'd hate to spare them the thrill," she joked cynically. She trapped a lock of his dark hair in her fingers and shrugged, "Either way, it's over."

He turned his head slightly, staring back curiously out of the corner of his eye. "I'm considering a few more options," he pretended to admit. "Living was one of them."

Clare's head instantly began to shake at the possibility, "Believe me, Eli, I know stories like this -"

"We're not in one of your fan fictions, Clare," he persisted, unwilling to be shaken. "This is real life. And, sometimes, that means you get to choose the ending."

"Well, it's the end, Eli," her voice was practically verging on laughter, "Choose!"

"Clare," he pulled her up against her, wrapping his arms around her fragile body to hold her as close as he always wanted to. Her muscles instinctively tensed up at the sudden movement but soon released. A shiver went drifting all the way down her spine as she felt his soft lips gently brushing up to her ear. "Can you feel this? You are still here." One arm came around her shoulder while his other slid down her back, giving himself over to her. "You're here with me."

Her eyes drifted shut as she buried her face into the warmth of his neck. Breathing it in always seemed to make everything a little better.

"And, so, the thing is, it really doesn't matter if we have 50 more years or 5 seconds," he whispered, every word beginning to feel like a lullaby to her, "Because we have this moment, and I'm going to hold onto it with everything left in me, because my heart is still beating." He pulled back a bit just for another chance to look into her eyes, "But not for me, Clare. It's beating for you."

Clare stood completely still, not finding the words to say, but daring herself to keep staring at him until she did. Eli lowered his mouth to her shoulder and blew on it lightly, letting his lips just drag softly over her skin as he came up higher. She let out a long, desirous sigh as her eyelids fluttered closed again, refusing to hold her feelings back anymore. Each kiss made her weaker. God, he drove her crazy.

His mouth hovered over hers, ready to close the gap they'd been building between them for too long. His hot breath fell faintly against her face. She could almost taste it...

BOOM, The echoing sound of a door slam filled the room. Clare gasped so hard she almost choked on her tongue. Eli quickly covered her mouth over with his hand as she clung onto him for dear life. Footsteps were drawing closer with no patience, and there was no one's imagination to blame it on this time. Eli tried to hide his disappointment, swallowing back the frustration that would continue to burn inside him. But, even through his anger and agitation, deep down, he was scared too.


*Um...update? Okay, so it's not nearly as long as it should be for me making you wait so long but it just took me forever to write because there are just not enough fucking adjectives in the world, and it was getting so frustrating, and so I'm just updating to let you know I still wanna write this story. Leave a comment if you're still reading this and please make it more than just telling me to update. If that's all I get, it's just gonna frustrate me more and it'll make it totally pointless to write this because I won't be getting any actual feedback on the chaps I am posting. It's the super sweet comments I've been getting recently that kept me writing this :) I don't know if the Eclare scene actually turned out good or not so lemme kno if u think that my writing is still up to par with the other chaps. It should be easier to make updates with Christmas break almost here and hopefully, it will make it easier to wait till February :) I love you guyss, thanks for reading!*